Remarkable! (A Podcast)
Remarkable! (A Podcast)
A Song of Resistance from the Ashes of the Holocaust | Abe Gurko | Ep. 7
2
0:00
-46:28

A Song of Resistance from the Ashes of the Holocaust | Abe Gurko | Ep. 7

Abe Gurko, author of "Won't Be Silent", tells the story of his uncle's song written as an act of resistance to his Nazi captors
2

Wolf Durmashkin was a 30 year old composer, the director of the Vilna Symphony Orchestra, and later director of the Vilna Ghetto Orchestra, a group composed of Jews forced to live in the ghetto in Vilnius, Lithuania.  While in the ghetto, Wolf composed a song as an act of resistance to the Nazis. Shortly before Wolf was to be liberated by the Allies near the end of World War II, he was murdered by his Nazi captors.

Wolf’s musical composition, “Won’t Be Silent,” would have been lost to history were it not discovered in 2017 among the pages of a book held in the Holocaust Museum archives and delivered to his nephew, Abe.

By 2017 Wolf’s courageous nephew, Abe Gurko, had lived his own incredible journey.  The son of first generation Holocaust survivors, Abe realized early in life that he wanted to live a life that mattered, one that counted for something.

And as he matured, lived his life, and came into his own, Abe’s path — from son of Holocaust survivors in New Jersey to a fixture in Hollywood, would intersect that dark time again in the march of Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia and the return of white nationalism and anti-semitism to his own country.

When Abe Gurko packed his bags and moved from New York City to Hollywood, he wasn’t leaving a career in the fashion industry to chase the usual dream of becoming a movie star. “I wanted to be a mechanic to the machine called celebrity.” Over the next few years, he developed his skills as a behind-the-scenes creative working with arguably the coolest woman in Hollywood, Carrie Fisher. There, he acquired an intimate knowledge of the writing process and observed the inner workings of the entertainment industry. “I was like Alice careening through the Looking Glass, Mad Hatter and all.”

Before finishing his debut memoir, “Won’t Be Silent,” Abe spent decades producing countless high-profile events: premieres, fashion shows, and music videos; created New York Design Week and even races in Central Park. His fundraising activities helped raise money for AIDS, other charities, and the theatre.

Join me as I talk with Abe about his life, his book, and his story of bringing his uncle’s song of resistance to life again 75 years after its origin in the ashes of the Holocaust.

Remarkable! (A Podcast) is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

2 Comments
Remarkable! (A Podcast)
Remarkable! (A Podcast)
Great stories move us, inspire us, and open us up to a world of possibilities. At ReMarkable, I share great stories from the people who lived them. And I share my thoughts about ideas, events, and people that I find ReMarkable.